Tempest Rising (Jane True, Book 1) by Nicole Peeler
Orbit (October 27, 2009)
368 pages, Urban Fantasy
I first saw this cover on Orbit’s blog and I’ve been hooked ever since. I started to follow Nicole’s blog and expressed just how much I loved the cover and the premise. Nicole graciously sent me an ARC this summer. Thank you Nicole.
Overall: 25/30 = 83% B
Cover/Title Bonus: 10!
Summary (Nicole’s Website)
In the tiny village of Rockabill, Maine, Jane True—26-year-old bookstore clerk and secret night swimmer—has no idea that her absent mother’s legacy is entry into a world populated by the origins of human myths and legends. It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: vampires are not quite what we think; dogs sometimes surprise us; and whatever you do, never—ever—rub the genie’s lamp. For Jane, everything kicks off when she comes across a murder victim during her nightly clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean. This grisly discovery leads to the revelation of why she has such freakish abilities in the water: her mother was a Selkie and Jane is only half human. With this knowledge, Jane soon finds herself mingling with supernatural creatures alternately terrifying, beautiful, and deadly—all adjectives that quite handily describe her new friend Ryu. When Ryu is sent to Rockabill to investigate the murder, he and Jane fall hard for each other even as they plummet into a world of intrigue threatening to engulf both supernatural and human societies. For someone is killing half-humans like Jane. The question is, are the murders the work of one rogue individual or part of a greater plot to purge the world of Halflings?
I know a lot of comparisons will be made between Jane True and the Sookie Stackhouse series. Why? Well, they are both urban fantasy featuring paranormal entities, a twenties something female lead, a small Town atmosphere, and a compelling mystery.
We are introduced to Jane early and quickly figure out she’s not "normal". We are quickly introduced to more minor and major characters right around the time a body is found. The investigation gets complex sending Jane and Ryu to other nearby cities and a major Compound meeting with the Queen and King.
One of the most awesome things about this book is the small town, Rockabill, that Jane is from. Her small town is well known because of a whirlpool known as the Old Sow. It happens to be Jane’s secret hide-a-way that she retreats to and swims.
There’s a trip to the vampire Compound and the building they stayed in was depicted very well.
Nicole did a good job at setting the scene but……
While I enjoyed the plot and characters immensely there is one huge issue I had with this book. There were way too many references to modern times. Way too many. With the paranormal/urban fantasy genre I want to feel as if I’m in another realm if not completely at least somewhat. I couldn’t grasp that in full because of all the references that were slammed toward me. Each time I read a reference, because they are numerous, I had to stop and shake my head. Why do that? Don’t reference something I already know about, which makes me stop, disconnect from the story to connect with what was referenced get the detail from that and then return to the story at hand. DO NOT DO THAT! Make your own details, don’t "steal" them from elsewhere and don’t disconnect your readers from the story.
They were sooo abundant that I can merely flip around a few pages and find one. Here are some examples with page number references. I’m referencing the ARC edition.
- Martha Stewart – page 1
- Melanie Griffith – page 16
- L.L. Bean – page 25
- Matrix – page 49
- My Little Pony – page 56
- Sesame Street – page 57
- Sex and the City – page 70
- Regulators/Warren G – page 80
- Cheshire Cat – page 101
- Buffy – page 102
- Star Wars – page 111
- Star Trek – page 118
- Little Shop of Horrors – page 130
- Rhett and Scarlett – page 134
- Prozac – page 159
- Lysol – page 172
- Selma Hayek – page 178
- From Dusk Till Dawn – page 178
- Big Mac – page 205
- Wu-Tang Clan – page 210
- M.C. Hammer – page 211
- Berlin Wall – page 212
- Walt Disney – page 216
- Tolkein – page 216
- M.C. Escher – page 216
- Sarah Jessica Parker – page 217
- IHOP – page 223
- Addams Family – page 223
- Johnny and Baby, Dirty Dancing – page 224
- Bobbi Brown – page 226
- David Bowie – page 234
- Buddha – page 235, 302
- Highlander – page 236, 258
- Jeffrey Dahmer – page 237
- Mr. Rogers – page 237
- Jimi Hendrix – page 240
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – page 243
- The Golden Compass – page 243
- Peter Jackson/Lord of the Rings – page 243
- Blade – page 243
- Hugh Hefner – page 243
- Energizer bunny – page 254
- Fantasia – page 263
- Harry Potter – page 263
- Nyquil – page 283
- Pretty Woman – page 291
- Julia Roberts – page 292
- Las Vegas show girl – page 297
- Ramones – page 304
- Neo/The Matrix – page 315
- WWE wrestlers – page 315
So, yeah, I just flipped through the entire book and those are the ones that popped out. It helps that most of them are italicized. They are plentiful and were majorly distracting for me. I think it shows Nicole’s personality that she decided to use these proper names, things, and places instead of using her own descriptions. I honestly don’t think that’s a terrible thing but I think it would have been better in moderation, like half of what was used. This might just be me.
I liked all the different paranormal entities that Nicole encompassed in this first book. It was a nice touch to have not just one but about 10 different entities introduced along the way. It leaves room for all kinds of future endeavors for Jane.
The fact that Jane is a selkie is super cool. I haven’t read any books that focused on selkies before. They are briefly mentioned in Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series and that’s all I know of.
The small town life again, which can be common, was also original as each different store of the town had a pig referenced name to incorporate the Old Sow. I thought that was pretty neat.
Jane is the main character. She’s in her twenties but looks a lot younger than she is because of the selkie in her. That’s why the girl on the cover looks so young. She doesn’t age like normal humans. She’s neat person. She has a lot to learn and I’m excited to see how she continues to grow.
Jane meets Ryu, a vampire, at the book store she works at. He’s the investigator of the murder that happened. They quickly become attracted to each other.
Jane’s Dad is a minor character in this book but he’s a major character in Jane’s life. I loved having him incorporated. You could really feel the love that was between them.
Tracy is the owner of Read It and Weep where Jane works. Her girlfriend is Grizelda and she’s a blast of a character!
There were plenty of minor characters. Anyan was my favorite and I hope to see more of him in Tracking the Tempest.
The love blossoming between Ryu and Jane was pretty intense at points. It all progressed rather quickly but naturally. He was a gentleman and she didn’t play hard to get so it was all very sweet.
A good read. I’d recommend this to the Sookie Stackhouse fans as well as general urban fantasy readers. It’s an Adult book so not really recommended for the younger crowd.
The cover is the shit. LOVE this cover. Not only did it peak my interest but it perfectly depicts what this book is about. Everything on the cover means something. The art work is awesome.
Tracking the Tempest
Connect with Nicole Peeler
What do you think? I love this cover! 🙂
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